Brits will be able to go on holiday to a new list of 75 countries without needing to quarantine when they return to the UK, according to new reports.
The news comes following the government ditching the plans to create ‘air bridges’, which were going to make travelling between two countries which have similarly low levels of coronavirus easier.
The full list of countries will be published by the government today or tomorrow, and will see the lifting of the Foreign Office’s ban on non-essential travel to nearly all EU destinations plus many others.
The 75 countries listed have been deemed sufficiently low-risk destinations for holidaymakers based on their COVID-19 levels, a declining infection rate and that their data can be trusted.
From Monday, travellers to 75 countries will no longer have to quarantine for 14 days when they return to the UK.
Instead, the air bridges will be replaced with a traffic light system which will decide which nations are safe, a move which has been massively welcomed by the travel and aviation industry.
‘Green’ or ‘Amber’ countries will not require 14 days isolation on returning to the UK, but ‘Red’ countries will.
Many popular holiday destinations will be found on the list, such as Croatia, Turkey, France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Greece, Switzerland, Belgium, Ireland, Iceland, Poland, Malta, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Slovenia, Slovakia and Germany.
However, Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, has this week she reserved the right to quarantine English visitors. Likewise, Ireland is expected to publish its own ‘Green’ list of countries and has already indicated that Britons could be forced to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.
Some countries like Australia and New Zealand are expected to retain border controls and impose quarantine until the end of the year.
The USA, Russia and Brazil are among the list of ‘Red’ countries where non-essential travel will continue to be banned.
Sweden, which tops the tables in the EU for coronavirus cases, is expected to be classed as Red, as with Portugal due to a recent outbreak in and around the capital, Lisbon.
Despite this being welcomed by the travel industry, some government officials have claimed creating a specific list of countries exempt from quarantine poses a ‘diplomatic nightmare’ and could open ‘legal challenges’, according to The Telegraph.
These officials have proposed a list that expands on the Foreign Office’s travel advice to include high-risk countries where Britons should refrain from travelling to instead.
Henry Smith, chair of the cross-party Future of Aviation group, said: “This has been done in a very piecemeal way and with a degree of uncertainty. I still think the introduction of quarantine was not the right decision but we are where we are.
“We need to get a set of criteria and subsequent list of countries published. Every day of uncertainty translates into more jobs lost.”
What do you think, are you planning on travelling or waiting a little longer?
This gorgeous Greek island is paying people €500 a month to live there
Fancy packing up your family and moving to a secluded paradise?
The stunning Greek island of Antikythera is welcoming new inhabitants and will pay them €500 a month to live there.
This idyllic 20 sq km paradise has plenty of beautiful empty beaches where you’re sure to find a peaceful spot all to yourself.
There is something a little disconcerting about taking a lone ferry ride to a remote island and stepping foot onto eerily quiet shores as the boat heads back to civilisation, leaving you among just a few dozen residents already living there.
In stark contrast to the bustling and noisy holiday resorts in Greece and its popular islands that fill up especially during the summer holidays, this island is so quiet there’s no continuous droning of traffic and you may even be able hear your own pulse.
If you’re not much of a people person and you’re very happy spending time in your own company, this offer could be the one to entice you.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to get away from the hustle and bustle and live life a little slower, in a serene and simple paradise?
Well, you’re in luck because the small remote island of Antikythera is ready to move new families to its gorgeous land and make it their home.
Not only that, you will be paid to make the move. Antikythera will pay families an allowance of €500 a month to live there for three years, as well as receiving housing and land.
While moving your family to a remote Greek island isn’t to everybody’s taste, the cash incentive might help those with a bit of an adventurous streak to take the leap of faith and give it a try.
While it doesn’t have any supermarkets, petrol stations, banks, ATMs or even taxis, the island is currently under development. It does have its own source of water, an autonomous power station and internet connection for those wondering.
Antikythera, a two-hour ferry ride from Crete, only has one coffee shop – a kafeneion – which also serves as a grocery store and meeting place for its current islanders.
The boat which supplies the island with food and gas cannot dock in especially stormy seas – which is, apparently, a fairly common occurrence in winter.
One interesting fact about this island is the discovery site of one of the oldest analogic computers ever found, the Antikythera Mechanism.
Built sometime around 150 and 100 BC, its gear wheels and clockwork mechanism were used to predict astronomical positions, eclipses, orbits, and even mark the four-year period between each Olympic Games.
The selection process for families could take a good while to complete, so you can sit back and relax – once you’ve packed your life up – in the meantime.
Be sure to do your homework and make sure this is the right move for you and your family if you’re thinking about it.
Shrek’s ‘moss-covered’ swamp home is now available to rent on Airbnb
Fans now have the opportunity to stay in his humble abode free of charge
Shrek fans can now live out their dream and stay in the huge, green ogre’s swamp home – now listed on Airbnb.
The ‘mud-laden, moss-covered’ real-life recreation of Shrek’s Swamp is located within the grounds of Ardverikie Estate, in the Scottish Highlands.
The idea for the cosy forest hideout is inspired by DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek film series, released between 2001 and 2010.
Airbnb released the listing on Tuesday, with Shrek enthusiasts able to book overnight stays from Friday, October 27th to Sunday, October 29th.
The live-in tree stump features a studio layout with two beds and one bathroom, where up to three guests at a time can make a reservation for free.
The short and long-term home stays firm said the offer is ‘a nod to the priceless refuge Shrek’s Swamp has provided fairytale creatures of all kinds’.
The murky den features ‘Danger’, ‘Beware Ogre’ and ‘Stay Out’ signs on the path leading up to the quirky property. But once inside, it is delightfully snug and inviting.
The unusual listing is hosted by Shrek’s animated sidekick, Donkey, who has agreed to ‘swamp-sit’ in his absence.
About the charming mossy refuge, Donkey posted on Airbnb: “Shrek’s Swamp is lovely. Just beautiful. The perfect place to entertain guests.
“You know what I like about it? Everything. The overgrown landscaping, the modest interiors, the nice boulders, all of it.
“I can’t wait for guests to experience this muddy slice of paradise for themselves.”
To coincide with the launch, Airbnb will make a donation to HopScotch Children’s Charity, which provides some of Scotland’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged children with respite breaks through nurturing and dynamic holiday trips.
Anyone interested in staying in Shrek’s Swamp can request a reservation from 6pm on Friday, October 13th.
To book a stay, visit the Airbnb website, HERE.
First look at new Legoland holiday park opening in the UK next year
Young ones can play on climbing frames and rope bridges based on spider’s webs and treehouses
Legoland in Windsor has revealed a first look into its brand-new holiday park, opening in 2024.
The newly built Woodland Village with over 130 lodges and 20 camping barrels will open to the public next May, with overnight stays on sale now. Prices to stay on the 10-acre site start at £295 or a family of four.
While most lodges sleep up to five guests, with 10 premium lodges able to sleep up to seven people.
Features at the Woodland Village include The Clubhouse Restaurant & Bar, which will serve up campfire-inspired grub in a woodland-themed setting.
Youngsters can explore the several woodland-themed play areas equipped with climbing frames and rope bridges based on spider’s webs and treehouses.
The family attraction will also have brick-building activities, nature trails, an entertainment hub, and colourful new Lego characters.
Helen Bull, Division Director at Legoland Windsor Resort, said: “The LEGOLAND Woodland Village has been a long time coming and we’re incredibly excited to now be taking bookings ahead of the official opening in May 2024.
“This moment marks years of planning and unwavering dedication to providing a magical experience for all our guests.
“The LEGOLAND Woodland Village is part of a significant transformation for the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort and we look forward to welcoming families to this new way to stay next year!”
But this isn’t the only exciting new addition to a Legoland-themed attraction, as an adventure golf attraction will be opening this October.
Also next month, the Legoland Discovery Centres in Birmingham and Manchester will be hosting their own Monster Parties, with a series of spooky attractions for Halloween.
Meanwhile, the Legoland theme park is set to close the Viking River Splash – one of its most popular rides – by the end of the month. The park haven’t given a reason as to why, but the ride will become part of Viking history.